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10 Best Things to Do in Bern

10 Best Things to Do in Bern

There is no better way to tour Switzerland than by visiting Bern. Bern, Switzerland's capital and itsfifth-largest city, offers some of the most stunning attractions you can getand enjoy in the country. The town is encircled by the river Aare and dotted withhouses, restaurants, and fashion shops, most of which have a 17th Centurycharacter on them.  

With so many things to do andplaces to visit, here are our top 10 things to do and places to visit in Bern.

1. The Old Town

Named as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Bern's old town is home to most of Bern's best and famous tourist attractions. There is much to love about the old city, from the various ancient public fountains scattered around the town to the gothic towers and old statues at multiple locations.  

Many of the old town attractions are close together with cobbled streets and arcade sidewalks enabling tourists to explore them on foot.

2. Bern’s Famed Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum)

Housing over 51000 works of art, the Kunstmuseum was built in 1879, making it the oldest art museum in Switzerland. The museum's art collection comprises artwork from renowned Swiss and Italian artists, including Van Gogh, Manet, Duccio, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and Wassmer. There is also an abundance of brilliant paintings and sculptures from various international artists, especially Picasso and Paul Klee.

The museum organizes both private-guided and public tours. Visit the museum's official website for the latest details on scheduled exhibitions and packages.

3. Switzerland’s Tallest Cathedral (Berner Münster)

By locals known as Münster, Switzerland's tallest cathedral was built in the second half of the 15 century. It is one of the country's most famous and most impressive looking church. Construction of the church took more than 400 years and is richly decorated by impressive-looking sculptures and paintings, all of which are worth seeing.  

The church's terrace also offers a spectacular view into the Aare valley, a lovely view over Bern and its backdrop Alps.

4. Check out the Historical Museum of Bern

The historical museum of Bern is a must-visit landmark in Bern. Alongside the Einstein museum, it is the second-largest museum in Switzerland.  

Exhibitions at the museum showcase objects acquired during the stone age, the Romans, and the Napoleonic era up until the 20th century. If you are a history lover, you would certainly enjoy your visit here.

5. Rosengarten and Barenpark

Rosengarten and Barenpark are two of the most important places in Bern. Rosengarten, known as the Rose Garden Park, originally a cemetery during the 17's but redesigned as a park in 1913, showcases over 200 types of rose and various species of other flowers. The park offers a calm, serene and immense environment to picnic or to take a walk. There is also a restaurant and a great pond in the park.

Barenpark is another great place you should see in Bern. The park depicts the love and affection the locals in Bern have for Bears, which dates back centuries. The bears were moved to the park in 1857, and the park, which has since been renovated, still houses three bears at the time of this writing. Tourists can see the bears playing, eating, or sleeping up close, albeit from a safe distance.

6. Einstein-Haus

Another cool thing to do in Bern is to check out Albert Einstein's house turned museum when he lived in Bern (1903 -1905). During his stay at Bern, the physicist lived in the house with his wife and son. Here he published some of his most famous work, including his paper on the Brownian motion, E = mc2, as well as the theory of relativity.

A tour of the apartment gives you an insight into Einstein's personal life while he was working on theories that would soon change the world of science. Be sure to catch the exhibition of some of Einstein's work and interesting facts about his life on the apartment's third floor.

7. See Zytglogge (Clock Tower)

The Zytglogge is one of Bern's most famous landmarks, and it is located in one of the oldest sections of the city. The 23-meter 800-yr old Clock Tower has a well-worn observation platform that promises the town's impressive and unique views below. You can also look forward to the mechanical show performed every three minutes before the hour hand strikes a new hour.

There is an informative guided tour for visitors looking to climb up the tower.

8. The Einstein Museum

As the names imply, the Einstein museum is dedicated to the great physicist, Albert Einstein. The museum offers visitors different artifacts such as letters, objects, and old films, all of which depict Einstein's life. If you are highly interested in Einstein's work, you do not want to miss the Einstein museum exhibition.

9. Visit the Bundeshaus

The Swiss Parliament Building (the Bundeshaus) was built during the 19th century and is home to various important Swiss agencies and councils. The building, of course, houses two chambers of the Swiss Parliament.  

A tour of the building will expose you to various pivotal moments in Swiss history as well as some of Swiss's best works of art. The building's terrace also offers terrific views of the river Aare and the towering Swiss Alps beyond.  

Before visiting, it is advisable to book in advance as reservations to tour the building fills up quickly.

10. Enjoy a taste of Swiss delicacies and beer at Altes Tramdepot.

Highly rated by tourists, the Altes Tramdeport Brauerei Restaurant offers a broad menu of Swiss dishes, French cuisine, and Asian dishes. The restaurant also offers visitors a taste of their house-brewed beer while chatting with the locals.

Note: This ranking is based on our own experience and research on the internet. No uniform rating scheme is followed. We have no claim to the correctness of the ranking. What counts for us is to show the diversity and beauty of Switzerland. Have we published incorrect information? Let us know:

Photo credits: 1. Old town 2. Kunstmuseum 3. Berner Munster 4. Bern historical museum 5.  Rosengarten park